India & Indian Subcontinent

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Festive Tasks 2020: … aaaand we’re off!

Door 14 – Reveal & Task 1, Door 15 – Book, and Door 16 – Task 1 The king is dead; long live the king … with Halloween Bingo behind us, Festive Tasks is already well under way!  Since we ran a poll this year to determine which holidays were to be included in the […]

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An “Out of My Reach” Book Wishlist to St. Nick

24 Festive Tasks: Door 14 – St. Nicholas’ Day / Sinterklaas, Task 1: Write a book wish list to St. Nick / Santa Claus for books that you’ve been eyeing but can’t justify the expense of purchasing.  (E.g., art books? Collector’s editions? Boxed sets?)   Dear Saint Nick, it would be really nice if one […]

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Chicken Tikka Masala

24 Festive Tasks: Door 15 – International Human Rights Day, Task 1: Cook a dish from a culture other than your own or something involving apples (NYC = Big Apple) or oranges (for the Netherlands, seat of the International Court of Justice & International Criminal Court). Chicken Tikka Masala   Original post: ThemisAthena.booklikes.com/post/2016088/24-festive-tasks-door-15-international-human-rights-day-task-1

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My Favorite Books with Music as a Plot Element

24 Festive Tasks: Door 21 – Kwanzaa, Task 2: Music is an important part of a Kwanzaa celebration.  Which is / are your favorite book(s) where music plays an important role in the plot?   In no particular order, books (of all genres, except for artist biographies)* that I love where music plays an important […]

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Books With Antonyms in Their Titles

24 Festive Tasks: Door 5 – Bon Om Touk, Task 4: The South Korean flag features images of ying / yang (the blue and red circle in the center) and four sets of three black lines each representing heaven, sun, moon and earth and, in turn, the virtues humanity, justice, intelligence and courtesy.  Compile a […]

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M.M. Kaye: Death in Kashmir

Well, that was somewhat more of a slog than I had expected — and only in a minor part owing to M.M. Kaye herself; even though she does rely more on “dark and stormy night” scenarios than I would have liked to see, as well as on characters, including protagonists, behaving TSTL to such an […]

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16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Final Tally

The Markers: Stack of Books: Books read       Red Bows and Ribbons: Other Tasks completed Joker cards used:   The Squares, Books and Other Tasks: Square 1: November 1st: All Saints Day / Día de los Muertos & Calan Gaeaf Book themes for Día de Muertos and All Saint’s Day: A book that […]

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The Dalai Lama: The Power of Compassion

16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Square 10 – World Peace Day Words of Wisdom The Dalai Lama speaks about the Four Noble Truths, maximizing your inner strength, dealing with anger and death, the power of compassion, the challenges facing humanity today (including globalization, warfare, environmental protection, overpopulation), and the great world religions’ core tenets […]

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16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Updates / Blackout

I’ve yet to read at least one book for some of the squares, but I’ve completed a minimum of either one book or one task for all of the squares, and in several cases, more.     The Markers: Stack of Books: Books read       Red Bows and Ribbons: Other Tasks completed   […]

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Aravind Adiga: The White Tiger

16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Square 6 – Bodhi Day Entrepeneurship I have a suspicion bordering on phobia of pretty much every book being marketed as the greatest thing since sliced bread; and after this book won the Booker Prize, that suspicion / phobia certainly came into play big time here.  So it was […]

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Iliya Troyanov: The Collector of Worlds

The Twelve Tasks of the Festive Season — Bonus Entry Task the Fifth: The Kwanzaa: – Read a book written by an African-American author or set in an African country. I blacked out my card on Dec. 19 using the “activity” entry for the Kwanzaa square, but since thereafter I did read a book set […]

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Summer Splurges (AKA: Be Good to Yourself)

Largely inspired by Samantha Wilcoxson’s recommendations following up on my read of her books Plantagenet Princess, Tudor Queen and Faithful Traitor – as well as looking forward to book 3 of her Tudor Women trilogy – I’ve been on a minor shopping spree lately. Not all of these are Samantha’s recommendations, but that’s the way […]

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Salman Rushdie: Joseph Anton – A Memoir

Dear Mr. Rushdie, Belated Happy Birthday. I don’t know how much satisfaction there is to you, these days, in having reached an age which the Ayatollah Khomeini and his acolytes never wanted you to reach, but anyway, since I happen to have been reading your memoir of the fatwā years while you were celebrating your […]

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Cooking - Food - Drink Literature Reviews

Lorenz Books: Around the World Cookbook

Around the World in 350+ Recipes “Holidays in far flung places have increased our awareness of different foods, and restaurants on every street corner now offer dishes that no so long ago would have been unfamiliar,” the editors of this volume say in their introduction. And indeed: This is nothing less than a lavishly illustrated […]

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Literature Reviews

George Orwell: Burmese Days

   Pukkah sahibs An Assembly Such as This … Though uttered in much more genteel circumstances than the setting of this book, Mr. Darcy’s timeless put-down of Meryton society in Jane Austen‘s Pride and Prejudice can’t fail to come to mind when referring to the characters populating George Orwell’s first novel. Burmese Days is, down […]

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Literature Reviews

Sharon Maas: The Speech of Angels

On music, life, and the healing of torn souls. “Zwei Seelen, ach, in meiner Brust” – “Two souls, alas, are housed within my breast,” sighs Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Faust in one of the tragedy’s most famous scenes, torn between love and destiny, between free will and divine providence. And two souls also are tearing […]

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Literature Reviews

Sharon Maas: Of Marriageable Age

Love and cultural heritage, and perfumes from India. An orphan boy adopted by an English doctor, living near Madras, in the Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu: Nataraj. A headstrong teenager, daughter of an Indian lawyer in Georgetown, British Guiana: Sarojini. Back in Madras, earlier, a cook’s daughter, of Brahmin descent but a servant girl […]

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Literature Reviews

Jhumpa Lahiri: Interpreter of Maladies

Interpreting maladies. An Interpreter of Maladies is not, as Mrs. Das thinks (and as the reader of Jhumpa Lahiri’s stories may initially be thinking, too), a medical doctor or a psychologist; someone who interprets the origin and meaning of his patients’ various illnesses and malaises and then prescribes the adequate treatment. No: an Interpreter of […]

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